Volunteer Spotlight: Muhitur Rahman

Spotlight on our volunteers…

Muhitur Rahman (MR)

Muhitur Rahman (MR)

“Volunteers are unpaid not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!”

Rupert Douglas-Bate, Chairman of Global MapAid interviews volunteer Muhitur Rahman (MR), a City of London worker. Continue to read the interview and find out more…

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Chatham, part of the Medway Towns and home to the Historic Naval Dockyard, where my late grandfather worked until its closure in 1984, and remains the place where I continue to live today. 

Both my parents and late grandparents were working class Bangladeshi immigrants who instilled the benefits of education at a young age. We remain a tight-knit family and all of the extended family still live in or around the area, with close ties to our motherland, Bangladesh. 

Through the hard work of my forefathers, I had the privilege of being able to attend university and study Statistics & Mathematics, from whereon I ended up working in financial services in the City of London. I currently work for Investec, an Anglo-South African bank, as a Risk Analyst. 

What attracted you to MapAid?

I guess, deep down, I have always had an altruistic inner core, with a firm belief: 

“Every good act is charity. A man’s true wealth is the good he does in the world.” 

Nevertheless, during the first COVID-19 lockdown, I realised I had more time on my hands saved from the lack of commuting, having been forced by the pandemic to work from home. Furthermore, observing people losing jobs and the growing use of food banks spurred me to action. That is when I came across a Do-it.org advertisement for the role of Research Analyst. To be honest, it suited me well, with remote working, fitting around my existing commitments and lifestyle, and to top it off, it was well aligned with the analytical skills I had developed throughout my career. 

What other interests do you have?

I am generally kept quite busy with two young children and an extended family to look after. However, I am also concurrently volunteering with my local Credit Union, Kent Savers, as part of its Supervisory Committee. In the past, I have also been involved with social ventures, supporting the amazing work of Arrival Education and We Speak through coaching and mentoring programmes. Beyond my volunteering activity, I get some light-hearted pleasure from being a petrolhead! These days, I also enjoy keeping abreast of current affairs through reading articles and listening to podcasts. 

What can you tell us about your experience with MapAid?

It is a small grassroots organisation with a very familial atmosphere where I immediately felt at home, not dissimilar, in some ways, to Investec. The work is varied, with a focus on environmental or social projects spanning globally from UK, USA, Ethiopia, and Malawi to Nepal. 

It is a diverse organisation with many different types of people who contribute, both individually and collectively, with an assortment of skills. Specifically in the UK, we have worked on London Knife Crime, The Incubator & Accelerator Map UK, Sustainable Employment Drivers, rewilding with the WildEast Map of Dreams, and air pollution supporting the Central Office of Public Interest’s address pollution initiative. 

Most recently, after nearly a year with the organisation, I have been humbled by being invited to join the Board of Directors of Global MapAid, which I have accepted. I look forward to continuing working with the MapAid family in my new capacity. 

 

One of Investec’s cherished values is: 

“We strive to live in society, not off it.” 

I hope I can live up to it! 

What advice can you give to aspiring volunteers?

Volunteering your time to support a cause or causes you are passionate about is something you will never regret. It will enrich you as a person, positively impact your outlook, and provide you with a unique sense of purpose and fulfilment that will manifest into other parts of your life. 

Without volunteers, some of the services our less fortunate communities rely upon, would not be so readily available. So giving back by donating your time can really help address some of the socioeconomic issues in society. You will meet a diverse array of people, developing a plethora of other experiences that may otherwise not emanate from normal routine activities. 

Moreover, statistical research has shown that volunteering regularly can be healthier – both physically and mentally. 

 

To close, the following quote is one that continues to keep me motivated : 

“Volunteers are unpaid not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!” 

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